It's easy to forget that we are all perfect in our own design. Sometimes we muck it up with habits and choices that do not serve us. 

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Why Some People Attract Dysfunctional Relationships

SherryG10.6

Most of us tend to pick partners who reflect the vision we have of ourselves and our world. When you think about it, it makes a lot of sense. Compatibility and a sense of ease in a relationship come from having similar preferences, ideas, and values about things like money, religion, monogamy, parenting, and even what makes for good sex. The Legacy Project at Cornell University even did a study on this. They interviewed hundreds of people who had been married 40 or 50 years, and even longer. Most agreed that shared values are at the core of a healthy, long-lasting marriage.

But we don’t pick the people we’re with based on values alone.

We also choose people who have similar ideas about what relationships look like and how they should play out. This sounds good but it can also backfire.

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249 Hits

The Myth of Explaining and Defending

MargaretP10.6
Do you believe that explaining and defending will convince the other person to see things your way? Has this ever worked?

"What's the matter with you?"
"How could you do that?"
"Explain yourself, young lady/young man."
"Why are you dressed like that?"
"Why are you late again?"
"What did you do to your hair!"

How often did you hear some variation of this when you were growing up? I heard it all the time. And what I learned to do was to desperately defend and explain in fruitless attempts to get my mom or dad to stop judging me and SEE me. Or I would apologize and become the "good girl," so they would approve of me.

Of course, defending and explaining didn't work. But that didn't stop me from trying because I just didn't know what else to do - other than completely give myself up, which is what I eventually learned to do.

When I got married, I continued in the same pattern - first trying to explain and defend and then giving myself up. The result was, of course, no better than it was with my parents. Again, I had no idea what else to do.
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239 Hits

How to Interrupt the Pattern of Fighting

guy10.4

Have you ever been drawn into a fight with a loved one where – by the time you got knee-deep into who's “right” and who's “wrong” – maybe over the most trivial of matters – it felt as if, somehow, your very life depended on the outcome of that fight?

We’ve all had moments like this, perhaps too many times; which is why it seems strange that we’ve yet to see the following: there's no such thing as a “winning” side in any fight between two people who love one another, any more than one seat proved itself better than another on the deck of the Titanic.

Our demands never prove we’re right, any more than our negativity proves our partner is wrong. The only thing this kind of stress and strain between us proves is that we're missing at least one piece of the puzzle in that struggle with our partner.

What’s the missing piece? We can call it “love.” But if the word – or even the ideal – had the power to hold us together when everything feels like it’s trying to pull us apart – especially in the throes of a fight – then all we would have to do is call up that word, and our world would suddenly be right.

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374 Hits

Seven Ways to Protect You and Your Loved One’s From Negative or Dark Energy

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Negative Energy is only as as we allow it to be.



Have you ever wondered if there is bad, or negative energy floating around like a cloud just waiting for you to bump into it? Or maybe you have wondered if you have been cursed? I am going to help you release these concerns and share with you how to protect yourself from negative or dark energy.

This week I had several people reach out to me regarding negative or dark energy. One person felt a presence that she wasn’t sure was good or bad. I applaud her for tuning in and asking herself what the energy felt like. I reminded her that she is in control. Whatever is wanting to get her attention, she has the power to turn it away. I will share more on these invincible protection techniques later on.

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256 Hits

Learning To Trust After A Toxic Relationship

SherryG9.30

A toxic relationship is an unhealthy relationship. These relationships typically include feelings of being unloved, unwanted, misunderstood, unsupported, belittled, or even attacked. While most people consider a toxic relationship emotional and psychological abuse, there can also be issues with physical abuse and domestic violence.

It is possible to find yourself in a toxic relationship and not really understanding how things got to that point. Often the toxic person is very good at hiding their abusive behavior at the beginning of the relationship. If the person is a narcissist, it can be difficult to understand the constant swings from overwhelming and grandiose acts of passion and love to absolute disdain and anger. The result is that you are constantly kept guessing what will happen next and doing everything you can to avoid the hostility and toxicity.

Signs of a Toxic Relationship

A few of the signs you are in a toxic relationship include:

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171 Hits

Self Love is NOT a Pre-Requisite to Soulmate Love

arielle9.23

Self-love seems to be the hot topic in the personal growth movement these days and when it comes to finding soulmate love, there are a lot of myths that until you fully love yourself first, you won’t be able to get anyone else to love you. Is this really true?

My experience has been that most women (at least in the Northern hemisphere) live with a negative, critical voice in their heads that is often filled with ugly, shaming thoughts, self- doubt, and brings with it feelings of never being “good enough.”

And, I began to wonder, do you really have to eliminate that persistent voice in order to find true love?

Do we really need to be 100% in love with ourselves to experience Big Love?

No.

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303 Hits

Remember Your Self Worth

juliem9.16
As an adult, it’s easy to slip into a few bad habits – especially as we get older. Routinely eliminating “me” time is one of them, as is not making regular trips to the dentist or putting your health on the back-burner. But there’s one thing that we all do that puts quite a strain on our lives: compare ourselves to others.

You’ve been there. Your friend’s husband gets a big promotion, and their entire life is “upgraded” as a result. Maybe your sister moves into a bigger home in a nicer neighborhood. Or your neighbor joins a gym and loses 20 pounds. All of these are great things for the people in your life. So why do you feel so…discouraged? That one’s easy.

When you compare yourself to others, you are creating an environment rife for resentment and sadness. You are no longer grateful for what’s happening in your life and can only focus on where you are lacking. Eventually, those feelings graduate from the material shortcomings you start out with; eventually, you start to belittle who you are as a person.

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234 Hits

Practice Love Amnesty (How and Why)

arielle9.16

I believe we are all perfectly imperfect beings doing the best we can, most of the time.

And yet, we are now living in an era where cancel culture has become de rigueur, second chances are few and far between, and the art of forgiveness appears to have vanished.

We all have said and done stupid, regrettable things and I believe that if we own what we’ve done, and give a proper apology, and make amends, shouldn’t we be forgiven?

I see this as an issue in our personal relationships as well as in our culture.

Your significant other may be the greatest person on the planet but that doesn’t mean they aren’t going to make you crazy from time to time.

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270 Hits

Setting The Trap: Dating Strategies Used By Narcissists

SherryG9.15

There are many myths and misunderstandings around being in relationships with narcissists. One of the most common myths is that somehow people should be able to recognize a narcissist by simply checking off a few boxes on a handy dating checklist.

In reality, the behavior of a narcissist during the initial stages of a dating relationship is a carefully crafted façade. He or she does not use abusive language or ghost you on the first, second, or even the twentieth date. They do not try to manipulate in overt ways, but they do use subtle and often seemingly innocent behaviors to test the waters to determine the flexibility or the presence of boundaries.

Unfortunately, potential dating partners who have a history of emotional or physical abuse, abandonment, or dysfunctional families often lack boundaries. They fall into the trap of allowing the narcissist to begin to get his way, even over small things, which eventually lead to highly toxic behaviors that will become more significant as the relationship unfolds.

To help understand the trap the narcissist sets during the initial dating phase, let’s take a closer look at the strategies the narcissist employs. Based on your response, you may see more than one strategy in play, or the strategies may change over time.

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236 Hits

Don't Be Your Partner's Therapist!

mpaul9.15
One of the important things I learned in my own marriage and in my work with clients is that a committed relationship is NOT supposed to be a therapeutic relationship. We can help each other to learn, grow and heal, but this is very different than a therapeutic relationship. In a marriage, or close committed relationship or friendship, we can help each other, but in a therapeutic relationship, one person is helping the other. This doesn't work well in a partnership.

Caretakers often enter relationships to 'fix' their partner.

Caretakers often see themselves as healthier or more evolved than their partner, and they go about trying to change their partner – 'for their own good.' This puts the caretaker in a one-up position, which may make the other person feel one-down. I often hear from a client whose partner is trying to fix them, or who sees themselves as the ‘healthy one’, "My partner is much healthier and more evolved than I am."

Since we come together at our common level of health or woundedness, I know that this statement isn't true - that it's indicative of an imbalance in the relationship and is what is causing some of the problems.

Sometimes one person expects the other person to listen the way a therapist would. A client in this position asked me,

"What should I do when he vents on me and expects me to listen to him like a therapist might listen to a client?"

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219 Hits

Are You a Liar?

arielle9.8a

Are you a liar?

I believe most of us are. (Hey, we are all human, no judgement here.)

And the biggest lies we tell are to ourselves.

We lie to ourselves in small ways and big.

For instance, perhaps you do some or all of these:

You want to be healthy and yet you consistently blow off exercising and eat things you know are not good for you.

You want to nourish your mind with loving thoughts and yet you make up stories about how you are not good enough, loveable enough, or whatever and you let those stories keep you stuck.

You are in a relationship with a narcissist or someone who clearly exhibits bad behavior and you stick around hoping they will change. (They won’t)

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279 Hits

Commitment to Hope

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“Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without words
And never stops—at all”
—Emily Dickinson

A key component in any transformative life experience, personal or planetary, is hope. Not half-hearted or faint hope, but hope that is steadfast, sturdy, resilient, like that in Emily Dickinson’s poem. Hope within the human soul cannot be extinguished, no matter the hardship or loss. Despite the challenges of life, we humans endure because of that intangible something within us that holds us to life. Yet, there are times when hope seems shaky—as tenuous as a single candle flame wavering in a strong wind. Times such as now, when political discord, a deadly global pandemic, or personal crises erode our belief in a positive outcome. This is when hope is needed most.

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244 Hits

Is Your Heart Closed off to Love?

bradleynelsen9.4 8 Questions to Help Determine If You Have a Heart-Wall

Do you or someone you know have trouble giving or receiving love, trusting others, or forming deep and satisfying relationships? These are signs of a widely prevalent but little understood condition known as a Heart-Wall®.

When you experience a traumatic childhood, a bad breakup, a divorce, the death of a partner, abuse, severe injury, or any dreadful event, the emotional pain of the experience can cause you to feel defensive and to wall off your heart. A Heart-Wall may prevent you from giving and receiving love, block you from trusting others and forming new relationships, and leave you feeling perpetually lonely and isolated.

Heart-Walls are made up of the energy of Trapped Emotions from difficult experiences. Most people have multiple unresolved and unprocessed emotions that lay trapped one over another, all covering their heart creating a Heart-Wall. Trapped Emotions such as these are commonly referred to as emotional baggage.

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503 Hits

The Law Of Attraction And Relationship Issues

sherryg9.1

Being addicted to love is not the same as being a sex addict, a drug addict or an alcoholic. Love addicts are drawn to people that initially cause them to feel part of a whole rather than as an isolated individual.

For a love addict being single and alone is a crisis. These are people that rely on others for their sense of identity, where the relationship becomes the focus of their lives. Needless to say, love addicts smother the partner, which only causes the partner to pull away while the love addict clings on and compounds the problem.

The other type of partner that is drawn to a love addict is a person who is completely self-centered. They may have narcissistic tendencies or have another type of personality disorder. These are often the “bad boys” of the world, seeming to do nothing but take in a relationship. Finding a partner that wants nothing to do but to give creates the perfect destructive relationship for both.

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327 Hits

Speaking Your Truth Without Blame or Judgment

margaretp8.30

How often have you become irritated or angry, or given yourself up, or started to argue or debate, teach or explain, or withdrew when someone was treating you badly - ordering you around, judging you, blaming you, or dumping their complaints or negativity on you? How often have you behaved in any of these protective, controlling ways when someone is unknowingly interrupting you when you are trying to focus on something or get something done? How do you end up feeling when you behave in any of these ways?

The chances are you end up feeling angry, hurt, anxious, depressed, or numbed out. It is easy to believe that these feelings are coming from the other person's behavior toward you, but this is not the case. Your unhappy feelings are coming from not taking loving care of yourself.


For example...

Madison consulted with me because she was feeling depressed. She and Andrew had been married for 12 years. She loved Andrew and felt that they had a deep soul connection. Yet she was often unhappy around him.

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192 Hits

How To Stop Being An Over-Giver

kute8.26.21
We’ve been taught in our culture that to give is better than to receive.

This can lead to being an over-giver. When you’re an over-giver and don’t allow yourself to receive, you also rob others of the gift of giving to you.

Giving and receiving are actually two sides of the same coin. So how do you stop being an over-giver if you are one? I share some thoughts in my new video.
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315 Hits

Is This the Right Person for Me?

MargaretP8.25
"How will I know when I meet the right person?"

I often hear this question in my counseling practice.

The answer is fairly complex. There are two different reasons that people have for wanting to get married:

• To get love, validation, security and safety

• To share love and to grow emotionally and spiritually.

If you feel insecure and alone, you are likely to look for someone who will fill the inner emptiness and give you the love you are seeking.You may want to find someone who will complete you and make you feel adequate and worthy.
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666 Hits

Is Your Early Trauma Picking Your Partners?

sherryg8.25
Most people have had at least one bad relationship in their life. For most individuals, this bad relationship was a blip on the radar, with the experience chalked up to a lesson learned.

However, there are also people who find themselves in the same toxic relationship over and over again. The partner may look different on the surface. Still, his behaviors, abusive ways, or emotional unavailability are exactly the same as the partners before.
Why do some people bounce back after a toxic relationship and move on to a healthy relationship while others are destined to repeat the same negative relationship cycle? The surprising answer is that this behavior may be directly related to early trauma in your childhood years.

The Legacy of Childhood Trauma

Childhood trauma is more common than most people assume. For example, in a 2017 study by Grant Sara and Julia Lappin published in The Lancet Public Health Journal, one in four adults reported they were physically abused as kids, and one in eight reported sexual abuse.  As stated in my book, Love Smacked: How to Stop the Cycle of Relationship Addiction and Codependency to Find Everlasting Love . “When we hold on to unresolved pain from childhood, especially trauma and abandonment, these wounds reemerge in adult relationships as toxic shame.”
Other types of childhood trauma can include:

•  Loss of a parent – the death of a close family member or a significant person in a child’s life can create trauma if the child is not allowed to grieve or does not receive the care and attention required to work through the grief.

• Multiple homes – children that are moved from home to home either within a family or through the foster care system are often traumatized as they have no place of comfort or belonging.

• Bullying and fear – this can be bullying from siblings, parents, or even within a community. This can be a single significant event or chronic types of fearful situations without the parental support and care needed for the child.

• Abandonment – children that are abandoned with friends, relatives, strangers, or even the other parent can be traumatized very early in life.
   
• Addicted parents – children that live in homes where they must take care of siblings and even their parents are often traumatized as they feel overwhelmed and helpless.

Attachment Styles and Choosing Partners 

Children that experience trauma early in life develop an anxious attachment style, which is sometimes called an anxious-preoccupied attachment style. These people are extremely fearful of being on their own as they obtain their validation and reason in life from being with someone else. Although they believe they need their partner for their identity, they often feel the partner does not care enough.

Signs of an anxious or anxious preoccupied attachment style include:
   
•  Extreme desire to please – these individuals will do anything to win the approval of their emotionally distant partners. This may include staying in physical abuse and toxic relationships.
      
• Clingy – the need to be physically close to the partner. This can initially seem attractive to some partners, but it quickly becomes overwhelming and smothering.
     
• Constant communication – in today’s always plugged-in world, this can include constant calling, texting, posting on social media, and even electronically tracking their partner.
       
• Constant reassurances – there is a constant need for reassurance the relationship is fine. This can become a constant in the relationship.

• Jumping into relationships – anxious attachment styles have short dating periods and then immediately into a serious and significant relationship.

These types of individuals attract people who need attention. The narcissist is the prime example of an individual who seeks out a person with an anxious attachment style as they crave the need for attention.

Tips Identifying Toxic Relationships 

It can be difficult to identify the signs of a toxic relationship if your childhood trauma has made it difficult to see the red flags in the relationship. Here are some tips you can use to determine if you are in a relationship with a toxic partner:

• Constant arguments – despite all you do to try to please the other person, it is never enough. You are always blamed for any difficulties or negativity.
   
• Jealousy – despite ignoring you or being emotionally distant, your partner may be very jealous of your relationships with others.
   
• Emotionally exhausted – taking responsibility for the happiness of another person while ignoring your own wellbeing is emotionally draining.

• Inability to end the relationship – if you believe you have to be in the relationship for your own happiness, despite being unhappy, and cannot break off the relationship, you may be in a toxic situation.

Working with a therapist or counselor with experience in healing from childhood trauma is perhaps the best way to identify the problem and begin the healing process.  You can also consider joining my online group coaching program Wake Up Recovery where you will receive support from me, as well as those like minded souls who have been where you have been.
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232 Hits

Stop Waiting For Love, Discover How to Make It Happen

aford8.12

Yesterday was our 23rd wedding anniversary. As I thought about the wonder of it all, I asked my beloved soulmate, Brian, what his thoughts are on how we have created 23 years of togetherness and what he thought our “secret of success” is.

Here is what he said:

“Our sacred union was ignited in an instant when I literally found myself immersed in a grand conspiracy of love with the Woman/Goddess of my dreams 23 years ago.

The day we met the magic began and the Universe/God supported our journey of love on every level. It was a ginormous love explosion where both our tides of love rose together into one ocean of love and where love began to dance with itself!

We celebrate our miracle of love every day as we live grounded in Higher Love with the necessary ingredients of respect, honor, joy, unlimited fun, attentiveness, acceptance, admiration and care of the other’s well-being.”

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308 Hits

True Love

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The word love sometimes loses its impact from overuse. We apply it to so many situations and recipients: people, food, places, experiences, clothing, cars, etc. In most of these senses, it signifies a strong preference or attachment of some kind. It doesn’t usually mean letting go or allowing, which is the greater sense of love. From a spiritual perspective, complete immersion in love is the highest attainment of a seeker on the path to self-knowledge and God realization. Within that experience, “attainment” and the path itself disappear in profound “loving awareness” (as Ram Dass called it). A deep light of unconditional love shines on everything and everyone, without expectation or judgment of any kind.

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448 Hits

30 Simple Ways to Create Balance and Connection

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